Top Yoga Poses for Weight Loss

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Losing weight is something that millions of people around the world concern themselves with every single day. There are plenty of weight loss tips and tricks all over the Internet, and it can be difficult to know what solutions are healthy, effective, or even safe. Many people look for the easy way out, adopting crash diets, unhealthy dietary regimens, or even eating disorders. However, if you are serious about losing weight, there is one way to do it that is not only good for the body, but also good for the mind, soul, and spirit. Yoga for weight loss is an increasingly popular method used by many people around the world. [1]

There are a number of yogic poses (also known as ‘asanas’) that are specifically noted for impacting the body’s metabolism, blood flow, and general functioning to lead to weight loss. One of the best parts about using yoga for weight loss is that it is an aerobic exercise, just like running, cycling, or swimming. [2]

Therefore, yoga helps in weight loss as a basic exercise, but even more importantly, yoga sessions leave the practitioners at peace, with a clear mind, regulated breathing, and balanced metabolism. As an actual exercise, it is very valuable, but there are specific poses that are ideal for weight loss. [3]

A young woman practicing yoga at home isolated on a white background

Practicing yoga on a daily basis will make you reap even more health benefits. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Yoga for Weight Loss

Let’s explore a few of these more specific methods of using yoga for weight loss.

Ardha Chandraasana

This pose is specifically good for toning up your stomach and love handles. It is also very good for your buttocks, thighs, and waistline. Since these are some of the biggest worry areas for people that are overweight, this particular pose is very important to add to your yoga routine. You accomplish this pose by standing with your feet together and raising your hands above your head, pointing skyward. Slowly tilt from side to side with your hands elevated while you exhale. You will feel the stretching sensation from your mid-thighs all the way to your fingertips. Repeat this pose on both sides of your body. It could definitely help you lose weight and tighten up those loose areas. [4]


This pose is also called the chair pose and requires a great deal of concentration, focus, and core strength. As you become stronger and more balanced, you will be able to maintain the pose for longer. It is particularly good for toning up your core, flattening your belly, losing excess fat from your thighs, and toning your buttocks. You can achieve this pose by raising your hands above your head, then bending at the knees until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Also, tilt your torso forward and maintain that balance for as long as possible. You’ll see the inches melt away and the muscles tone in all of the right places. [5]


This asana is also known as the Tree pose, and it is one of the best for the abdominal muscles, as well as the thighs and arms. You accomplish this pose by standing on one leg and raising the other foot against your standing thigh. Extend your arms upward and bring your hands together. This can be very difficult for those who struggle with balance. At first, don’t try to bring your heel all the way up, focus on mastering your breathing and balance. As you become more capable, you can increase the height of your foot and the subsequent difficulty/efficacy of the pose. [6]

Surya Namaskar

This might be the most important yogic process for weight loss, as it is actually a succession of different asanas, involving a steady progression of stretching forward and backward, helping to regulate the breathing, switch from sympathetic to parasympathetic nervous systems, and stimulate circulation in the body. Also, by combining a number of asanas, you can actually get a full-body workout, making this one of the best techniques. A proper Surya Namaskar should be practiced carefully and perhaps under the watchful guidance of a yoga instructor. [7]

While there are dozens of asanas that can impact the body, these are some of the most effective. However, if you want to use yoga as a consistent weight loss management technique, then the best thing to do is to learn from a proper yoga instructor before attempting to master the poses and processes on your own. There are yoga studios in almost all major cities throughout the world, particularly in India, which is the birthplace of yoga. Weight loss doesn’t have to be about crash diets and meaningless exercise, it can be a spiritual and enlightening journey if you choose to make yoga a part of it. Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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